2 Towns Hollow Jack’d

Review of 2 Towns’ Hollow Jack’d, a seasonal imperial-style pumpkin and spice cider.  I sampled a non-imperial (lower ABV) version of this previously (see here), and I’ve tried most of their line-up (see here).

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>>This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received it for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review cue.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.<<

Cider:  Hollow Jack’d
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  8.4%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles, kegs
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with caramelized heirloom pumpkin, sweet potato, honey, and spices

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Availability:  October 2019, in Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana.  See their Cider Finder.

Cider Description:  Extra mischievous, Hollow Jack’D takes our fall classic of fresh-pressed apples, caramelized pumpkins and sweet potatoes that are finished with local honey and spices to a whole new level.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99 / 500ml
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first tried it at Cider Summit Seattle 2016, but this time it just showed up

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First Impression:  Hazy straw yellow hue.  Nearly still (low carbonation).  Smells of caramelized apple and spice.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light to medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of baked apple and spices, with hints of pumpkin, sweet potato, and caramel.  Moderate length boozy finish.  Low to moderate sessionability and apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity and complexity.  Low to moderate pumpkin & sweet potato flavor and spice.

My Opinion:  Although I’m not a huge pumpkin / spiced cider fan, I liked this one.

Most Similar to:  Doc’s Draft Pumpkin cider (although that was a full sweet) and Tieton’s Smoked Pumpkin cider (although that was quite intensely flavored compared to this).  I’ve also tried pumpkin ciders from Ace and Woodchuck.

Closing Notes:  Unlike many pumpkin ciders (and beers), this one is actually made with pumpkin.  Many just add the pie spices but still call it a pumpkin cider (or beer).  Also, it is well balanced, with both the pumpkin and spices remaining light.

Have you tried 2 Towns Hollow Jack’d?  What did you think?

2 Towns Afton Field

Review of 2 Towns Afton Field, part of their Traditions line.  I previously at least tried this on tap (see here), plus I’ve had most of their cider lineup (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Afton Field, 2017
Cidery:  2 Towns Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  6.9%
How Supplied:  375ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft heritage farmhouse-style dry cider, barrel aged 1 year, bottle conditioned (soured) with Brettanomyces yeast

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Availability:  limited release, yearly in April [in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana (see their cider finder)]

Cider Description:  Inspired by farmhouse ciders of the pioneer West, Afton Field is a testament to the tenacity of these settlers and their enduring orchards. Fresh-pressed, hand-picked Wickson crab, Newtown Pippin and other pioneer apple varieties are fermented, aged in oak barrels, and bottle conditioned with wild Brettanomyces yeast. Bone dry, unfiltered and uncompromising, this farmhouse cider is wild at heart and at home on the rustic table.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $10)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Slightly hazy light straw yellow hue.  No carbonation.  Smells of musty sharp apple.

Tasting Notes:  Dry.  Light bodied.  High tartness.  Moderate to high acidity.  Moderate funk.  Low sourness and tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  Notes of sharp crab apple, lemon, must, straw, mineral, and a hint of herbs.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor and sessionability.  Low to moderate flavor intensity.  Moderate to high complexity.

My Opinion:  This isn’t a style that personally appeals to me.  I’d recommend this for fans of bone dry farmhouse-style (sour, rustic) ciders and/or beers.

Most Similar to:  other bone dry farmhouse-style ciders, such as Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank, Gitche Gumee Ciderworks EntropyNumber 12 Sparkling DryRuncible Cider Light of the MoonAngry Orchard Walden Hollow, and Sietsema Traditional Dry

Closing Notes:  I think moving their ‘Traditions’ line from a separate brand of large ~$20 bottles to smaller ~$10 bottles under the 2 Towns brand (but differentiated by bottle type/size and label format) a couple years ago was a very smart move, as they are an easier sell.

Have you tried 2 Towns Afton Field?  What did you think?

2 Towns Camp Clementine

Review of 2 Towns Camp Clementine.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had most of their line-up (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Camp Clementine
Cidery:  2 Towns Ciderhouse
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with clementines and passionfruit

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Availability:  seasonal (released April 2019), in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago Illinois, and parts of Minnesota & Montana – see their cider finder

Cider Description:  Juicy & Bright, Camp Clementine is an easy drinking summer cider packed with California clementines and yellow Maracuyá passion fruit. Sit back, relax and uncap some fond camp memories, or better yet, get out there and make some new ones!

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  n/a (retails for ~ $6.99 / bottle)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  No carbonation.  Light yellow hue.  Smells of citrus and passionfruit.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No bitterness, sourness, funk, or tannins.  Notes of passionfruit, citrus, and green apple.  Long tart finish.  Low apple flavor and complexity.  Low to moderate flavor.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it, but would have preferred a bit less tartness.

Most Similar to:  2 Towns Passion Statement, plus citrus

Closing Notes:  I actually noticed more passionfruit than clementine flavor, despite the cider’s name.

Have you tried 2 Towns Camp Clementine?  What did you think?

2 Towns Two Thorns

Review of 2 Towns Two Thorns.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had most of their line-up (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Two Thorns
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.5%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and cans and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples, with raspberries and rose petals

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Availability:  Spring seasonal, possibly in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Tart and floral, Two Thorns unites fresh-pressed Northwest apples, raspberries and rose petals. The result is a uniquely fragrant cider with a vibrant red hue.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider. 

Price:  n/a (probably ~ $5.99 / 500ml bottle or ~ $11.99 / six pack)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  it showed up

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First Impression:  Moderate red hue.  Still.  Smells of tart raspberry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to strong tartness.  Moderate acidity.  No sourness, funk, bitterness, or tannins.  Notes of raspberry with hints of green apple, floral, and lemon.  Moderate tart finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate flavor intensity.  Low to moderate complex.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Nice tart raspberry flavor, and super fruity for how dry it is (only 6g of sugar / 12oz).

Most Similar to:  Most raspberry ciders I’ve had were much more sweet.  However, this is most similar to a lower ABV version of Blue Moon Winery Apple Raspberry, which was also tart and dry.

Closing Notes:  They had a previous cider with this same flavor and name which was only available in downtown Portland Oregon, a collaboration with the Portland Thorns women’s soccer team.

Have you tried 2 Towns Two Thorns?  What did you think?

2 Towns Easy Squeezy

Review of 2 Towns Easy Squeezy, a new year-round lemon raspberry cider, a spin on their previous limited release Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.  It is my first time trying this, but I’ve had most of their lineup (see here).

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Easy Squeezy
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  5.0%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and 6 packs of 12oz cans, and kegs)
Style:  American craft cider from dessert apples with lemon and raspberry

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Availability:  year round, starting in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago, and parts of Minnesota & Montana (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Citrusy and refreshing, Easy Squeezy is crafted with fresh-pressed Northwest apples, Meyer lemons and raspberries. Bringing the pink lemonade vibes, this cider goes down easy peasy!

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider. 

They were founded in 2010 and have a tap room in Corvallis Oregon.

Price:  retails for ~ $5.99 / 500ml bottle or ~ $11.99 / six pack
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Hazy pink lemonade hue.  Still.  Smells of tart lemonade.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate to high tartness and acidity.  No tannins, sourness, tannins, or funk.  Notes of lemon, raspberry, granny smith apples, and grapefruit.  Quick finish.  Low apple flavor.  Low to moderate complexity.  Moderate flavor intensity.  High sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really liked this.  A bit less mouth-puckering tart than the previous release.

Most Similar to:  an alcoholic version of a less sweet than normal raspberry lemonade

Closing Notes:  Glad to see they are doing this in cans in time for spring and summer!

Have you tried 2 Towns Easy Peasy?  What did you think?

2 Towns Boysenbarrel

Review of 2 Towns Boysenbarrel, a barrel aged boysenberry cider.  It is my first time trying this, but I have had most of their lineup (see here).

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Cider:  Boysenbarrel
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis Oregon
ABV:  8.0%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles
Style:  American craft with from dessert apples with boysenberries, barrel aged

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Availability:  seasonal (winter), in some states (see their cider finder), plus online sales

Cider Description:  Tart and complex, Boysenbarrel is packed with Pacific Northwest grown boysenberries. Aged on heavy toasted French oak for a strong tannic backbone, this rich and tangy berry treat is perfect for the winter season.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider.

Price:  $6.99
Where Bought:  Total Wine
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  I first read about it online

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First Impression:  Purple-red hue.  Nearly still (very low carbonation).  Smells of tart berry.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry.  Light bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Low tannins.  Hints of bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of berry with hints of lemon and green apple.  Long tannic oaky red wine finish (although I’m guessing the red wine flavor was just tannic berry + oak barrel, as they didn’t specify red wine barrels were used).  Low apple flavor and barrel influence.  Moderate flavor intensity, complexity, and sessionability,

My Opinion:  I liked it.  However, it was a bit too red wine-like for me.

Most Similar to:  a non-sour version of 2 Towns Traditions La Mure (marion blackberry cider aged in red wine barrels), and Seattle Cider Red Wine Barrel Berry

Closing Notes:  I’d recommend this for folks of berry and barrel aged ciders, especially wine lovers.

Have you tried 2 Towns Boysenbarrel?  What did you think?

2 Towns Pearadise

Review of 2 Towns Pearadise, Imperial Getaway, their new spring seasonal imperial-style cider from apples and pears  then finished with white grape wine.  See the article here.  It is my first time trying this, although I have had their Bright CiderBad AppleSerious ScrumpOut Cider, Cherried Away, Made MarionCidre Moscato, Throne of Thorns, Cider Master Reserve Batch No. 01 – Barrel Select BlendPrickle Me PinkNice & Naughty Nice & Naughty Bourbon Barrel AgedDark CurrantRiverwood Brut 2014RhubarbarianPommeau (2013 Harvest, 2015 Release), Ginja NinjaSun’s Out SaisonReturn of the MackHop and StalkLa MûreCot in the ActHollow JackTraditions Cider Bouche 2015Traditions Riverwood 2015Flight of the KiwiPrickle Me Pink ^2Afton FieldTraditions Cidre Bouche 2016Man GoghPacific PineapplePassion StatementEasy Peasy.

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<This is a review of a sample bottle provided to Cider Says by 2 Towns.  Although I will take care to treat it the same as any other review, there is always the potential for bias as I received this for free.  The only consideration I knowingly made was pushing this up in my cider review que, considering it is a new release and the info may be helpful for folks deciding to purchase it.  I love free stuff, especially cider!  Want your cider or cider-related product reviewed here?  Contact me.>

Cider:  Pearadise
Cidery:  2 Towns
Cidery Location:  Corvallis OR
ABV:  8.6%
How Supplied:  500ml bottles (and kegs)
Style:  American imperial-style craft cider from apples, D’Anjou pears, and Muscat grapes

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Availability:  Spring seasonal, in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Chicago and parts of Minnesota (see their cider finder)

Cider Description:  Fruity and complex, Pearadise is found in this distinctly Northwest libation. Fresh-pressed pears are fermented together with local apples, then finished by blending in a touch of white wine, resulting in a sophisticated imperial style with plenty of panache.

Cidery Description:  At 2 Towns Ciderhouse we believe that the long history of cidermaking demands respect and deserves to be done right. Starting with the highest quality whole ingredients from local farms, we take no shortcuts in crafting our ciders. We never add any sugar, concentrates or artificial flavors, and instead use slow, cold fermentation methods to allow the fruit to speak for itself. As a family-owned company, we are committed to the growth of our team and enrichment of our communities. We take pride in producing true Northwest craft cider. 

They were founded in 2010 and have a tap room in Corvallis Oregon.

Price:  n/a (retails for $5.99)
Where Bought:  n/a
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  n/a

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First Impression:  Light gold hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells mild, of sweet pear and white grape.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium bodied.  Moderate tartness and acidity.  Hints of bitterness and tannins.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of pear, white grape, wood, and pineapple.  Long warming white wine-like finish.  Moderate pear flavor, flavor intensity, and complexity.  Low apple flavor and sessionability.

My Opinion:  I enjoyed it.  I had this in my cider fridge, so I first tried it at cellar temperature.  However, I quickly found this, like most imperial-style ciders, is a variety best drank very cold.  Once it properly chilled, it was much easier to drink.  Lots of flavor, starting with pear with a hint of apple, then finishing like a white wine, with grape and some alcohol-forward warmth.  I would have guessed it was barrel aged as I got a distinct wood/oak note, but they didn’t describe it as that, plus the price point is quite low on this, so I’d be surprised if it was.

Most Similar to:  The grape aspect of this reminded me of 2 Towns’ own Cidre Moscato.  However, I can’t remember ever having an imperial-style pear cider, nor could I find any but this in an online search.

Closing Notes:  It is surprising with how many dozens of cider varieties 2 Towns has made, how few have been made with pears.  They had a previous version of Pearadise in 2012 (as mentioned in this article), and more recently, Passion Statement (with pear and passionfruit), and now this, but that is about it.

Have you tried 2 Towns Pearadise?  What did you think?